Break-ins continue at Bellingham businesses

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 26, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - A rash of smash-and-grab break-ins continued in Bellingham, with a nonprofit thrift shop, a restaurant and a pet groomer among those hit over the weekend, according to the Bellingham Police Department.

Someone broke out the glass doors at four businesses overnight starting Friday, Nov. 22, following a trend of similar crimes from earlier that week. A detective has been assigned to the cases, though police have no leads on who is committing the burglaries or how they're getting around town, Sgt. Jason Monson said.

On Friday night, the glass door was broken out at The Lucky Panda restaurant, 2311 James St., and cash was taken out of the register. On Sunday morning, the glass doors were discovered broken out at the Assistance League of Bellingham thrift and gift shop, 2817 Meridian St., and at Bailey's Bath House pet groomers, 1633 Birchwood Ave. Cash was stolen from a register or drawer at the dog groomer.

Jewelry, a couple fur coats and a leather jacket and chaps were taken from the thrift shop for the Assistance League, a nonprofit that provides scholarships, gifts and vouchers for students, victims of domestic violence and the elderly. The organization gets more than half its income from the thrift shop, according to its website.

Assistance League of Bellingham President Nellie Durham said that she and the shop's volunteers were pretty shaken up over the break-in, but that it wouldn't affect the nonprofit's programs.

"I think it's pretty low," Durham said. "Anybody that would steal from a place that gives things to children and the elderly, I think they're the dregs of the earth."

Jewelry also was taken from Gallery West, an art store located at 1300 12th St. in Fairhaven. A passerby discovered the shop's glass door broken at about 7:30 a.m. Monday, and the business owner was creating a list of what was stolen and the cost of the items, Monson said.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com.

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